Kanshudo Component Builder
Draw a component:
Type a component or its name:
Choose from a list:
Change component list
By default the Component Builder shows the most common Joyo kanji components (ie, components which are themselves Joyo kanji, or which are used in at least 3 other Joyo kanji). Select an alternative set of components below.

For details of all components and their English names, see the Component collections.
Kanshudo Component Builder Help
For detailed instructions, see the Component builder how to guide.
To find any kanji, first try to identify the components it is made up of. Once you have identified any component, search for it in any of three ways:
  1. Draw it in the drawing area
  2. Type the name in the text area
  3. Look for it in the list
Example: look up 漢
  • Notice that 漢 is made of several components: 氵 艹 口 夫
  • Draw any of these components (one at a time) in the drawing area, and select it when you see it
  • Alternatively, look for a component in the list. 氵 艹 口 each have three strokes; 夫 has four strokes
  • If you know the meanings of the components, type any of them in the text area: water (氵), grass (艹), mouth (口) or husband (夫)
  • Keep adding components until you can see your kanji in the list of matches that appears near the top.
Kanshudo Component Builder Drawing Help
The Kanshudo Component Builder can recognize any of the 416 components listed in the chart below the drawing area. Tips:
  • Draw a component in the center of the area, as large as you can
  • Try to draw the component as it appears in the kanji you're looking up
  • Don't worry about stroke order or number of strokes
  • Don't draw more than one component at a time
Not finding your component?
If you believe you've drawn your component correctly but the system is not recognizing it, please:
Let us know!

Grammar detail: extended and rare katakana

extended and rare katakana
345 words
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Rare and unused katakana

Some symbols were originally part of the katakana syllabary but are rarely used today.
Most common is ヰ. (The hiragana equivalent is ゐ.) Although this character is officially known as 'wi', it was actually used as an alternative to the standard symbol for the 'i' sound, イ, most commonly in for example ウヰスキー (whisky), or in school textbooks which were often written out in katakana - for example, notice how in this image from a 1903 textbook, 'shiteimasu' is written as シテヰマス. This was officially marked obsolete in 1946, and in modern Japanese the 'wi' sound would be written with ウイ or ウィ.
Another rare katakana symbol is ヱ (hiragana ゑ), which is officially known as 'we', but often read 'ye' or simply as 'e' and used as an alternative to the usual エ symbol. This still survives today in the name of the popular beer, Ebisu, which is written ヱビス and historically was actually known as Yebisu. In modern Japanese, the 'we' sound would be written 'ウェ' and the 'ye' sound would be written イェ.

Extended katakana

The term 'extended katakana' is used to refer to the use of combinations of standard katakana symbols to create more accurate representations of the sounds of other languages in Japanese. There is an increasing trend to try to represent the sound of a foreign word more authentically, which requires going beyond the basic sounds common in modern Japanese. The following table summarizes the combinations typically encountered.
イィ (yi)イェ (ye)
ウァ (wa)ウィ (wi)ウゥ (wu)ウェ (we)ウォ (wo)
ヴァ (va)ヴィ (vi)ヴ (vu)ヴェ (ve)ヴォ (vo)
ヴィェ (vye)
キェ (kye)
ギェ (gye)
クァ (kwa)クィ(kwi) クェ (kwe)クォ (kwo)
グァ (gwa)グィ (gwi)グェ (gwe)グォ (gwo)
シェ (she)
ジェ (je)
スィ (si)
ズィ (zi)
チェ (che)
ツァ (tsa)ツィ (tsi)ツェ (tse)ツォ (tso)
ティ (ti)テゥ (tu)
ディ (di)デゥ (du)
ニェ (nye)
ヒェ (hye)
ビェ (bye)
ピェ (pye)
ファ (fa)フィ (fi)フェ (fe)フォ (fo)
フィェ (fye)
ホゥ (hu)
ミェ (mye)
リェ (rye)
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Kanji used in this grammar

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